Drives & Controls November/December 2023

42 n ELECTRICAL AND ENCLOSURES November/December 2023 Tap-maker cuts its enclosure cooling costs by 61% The German bathroom equipment manufacturer Hansgrohe SE specialises in producing highquality shower systems, taps and accessories. Founded in Baden-Württemberg in 1901, the company has a strong sense of tradition, but uses modern technologies to ensure that it is ready for the future. The company emphasises sustainability – all of its locations around the world have been climate-neutral since 2022. With the help of technologies that save water and energy, the company also aims to ensure that every product that it sells under its Hansgrohe and Axor brands can help reduce water consumption and cut emissions. Hansgrohe employs a high degree of vertical integration for manufacturing its bathroom and kitchen products. To ensure this, the company uses many machines and enclosures, as well as a large number of cooling systems. Even though the cooling systems’ share of the company’s total energy consumption is relatively small, Hansgrohe has set itself the goal of using every possible means to improve its energy efficiency. That is why it decided to test a novel enclosure cooling technology which claims to achieve energy savings of around 75% compared to conventional cooling systems. The technology’s developer, Rittal, claims that its 750W Blue e+ S series cooling systems are the world’s most efficient. The cooling system uses a hybrid technology, with two parallel cooling circuits operating independently or in tandem, depending on the temperature difference. A heat pipe cooling circuit provides passive climate control, dissipating heat from an enclosure as soon as the ambient temperature drops below a setpoint. In addition, there is a compressor cooling circuit that provides active climate control, with speed-controlled components for targeted cooling. Inverter control ensures a constant temperature inside the enclosure to prolong the service lives of the components. Hansgrohe and Rittal decided to test the technology in the manufacturer’s grinding and polishing facilities – six production lines where robots are used to give metal parts a high gloss finish, following earlier casting and milling processes. Despite the use of suction removal on these lines, sanding dust can still soil the products as they are cooling. On top of this, the machinery also dissipates waste heat. Before the testing began, Rittal carried out a service and efficiency check to calculate the potential savings of the new equipment. This data can also be used to determine how long the investment in the new cooling technology will take to pay for itself, the extent to which it can reduce emissions, and which funding programmes the end-user might be able to access. It took less than two hours to replace the old cooling system with the new one. “Everybody knows that you can achieve energy savings of 20–30% with a new, energyefficient cooling unit,” says Hansgrohe’s project and investment planner, Johannes Kopf. “However, Rittal promised us some 60% – and, sure enough, we’re currently achieving savings of 61% in our actual operations. To be, honest, it surprised us. “What’s more, if we disregard the integrated condensate evaporation – in other words, if we carry out a like-for-like comparison with our old unit – this figure rises to 70%,” he adds. “In any event, the Blue e+ S has exceeded Hansgrohe's expectations. “Rittal has proved that the data that was calculated during the efficiency check can also be achieved in practice,” Kopf concludes. “We are going to implement further recommendations from the efficiency check bit by bit, with a view to optimising energy consumption in our production plant.” n A German manufacturer of bathroom equipment has slashed the energy consumption of equipment cabinets on six of its production lines by installing a hybrid cooling technology that combines active and passive techniques. The new hybrid cooling system (foreground) that Hansgrohe has installed on its enclosures has resulted in energy and cost savings of more than 60%